Record: 24-25-7, 55 pts; 6th in Discover Central Division
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
D Duncan Keith
D Adam Boqvist
D Nikita Zadorov
F Pius Suter
F David Kampf
G Marc-Andre Fleury
D Seth Jones
D Jake McCabe
F Tyler Johnson
F Jujhar Kharia
D Caleb Jones
Chicago made a big splash when they acquired Marc-Andre Fleury in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights with prospect Mikael Hakkarainen going to Vegas in return. Fleury is coming off a Vezina Award-winning season in which he went 26-10-0 with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage. Fleury, without a doubt, is going into camp as the starting goaltender and brings on great veteran leadership to add to the other veterans on the team.
Seth Jones comes on to the team when he was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Adam Boqvist. Jones had a 28 point season (five goals and 22 assists) in a 55 game campaign. The addition of Seth Jones does bring a spark on defence with the loss of Duncan Keith, which I will get to in just a minute. Seth Jones, comes to a Blackhawks team, with having registered 36 goals and 125 assists the last four seasons and hopes to replicate the same success he had last season to his new surroundings.
The big loss on defence comes in the hands of Duncan Keith, who was traded to Edmonton with Tim Soderlund in exchange for Caleb Jones. As noted above, if Seth Jones can have the same success with his scoring touch in Chicago, the loss of Keith may not feel as strong. However, Keith was one of the last cornerstones in the defence that led Chicago to their three championships.
The big question mark surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks is the overall health of captain Jonathan Toews. After missing the 2020-21 campaign with what he called chronic immune response syndrome, it is unknown if he will be 100% in time for the start of camp but in order for the Blackhawks to be competitive this season, Chicago will want to have Toews at 100%. Toews gives the team depth at the center position, as well as Kirby Dach. Dach is the other interesting piece as this will be his first full 82-game season and I expect Dach to have a great season.
2021-22 Prediction: 5th in Central Division
Projected Lineup (as of August 31st):
Alex DeBrincat — Kirby Dach — Patrick Kane
Lukas Reichel — Jonathan Toews — Dominik Kubalik
Philipp Kurashev — Tyler Johnson — Dylan Strome
Brandon Hagel — Jujhar Khaira — Ryan Carpenter
Jake McCabe — Seth Jones
Calvin de Haan — Connor Murphy
Riley Stillman — Wyatt Kalynuk